Wilson: Warburton should be fit for Lions

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 18:11
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INJURY UPDATE: Sam Warburton faces six weeks out with a knee injury, but his Cardiff Blues coach Danny Wilson said he should be fit in time for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.

The 28-year-old forward - who many have predicted could captain the Lions in New Zealand after his success four years ago in the 2-1 Test series win over Australia - won't play again for Cardiff Blues before the Lions depart for New Zealand, but he should be fit by the tour opener on June 3.

"Sam has a low-grade medial strain which will put him out for approximately six weeks, which won't interfere with the Lions," said Wilson at a press conference

"He shouldn't have any problem regarding the Lions.

"Knowing how diligent Sam will be, with all these things, you see players who get back quickly if they follow religiously the protocol and they get a bit of luck.

"And I am sure that will be the case with Sam in terms of him following the protocol, and then we will see, all being well, how quickly he can come back.

"'Low grade' was the important bit of news.

"Sam is very experienced and a good professional who knows his body. He knows if he works hard he will be back relatively quickly.

"I think it is relatively good news, considering how it could have been."

Warburton, who had an impressive Six Nations tournament after being relieved of the captaincy, suffered the injury during the 24-24 Pro12 draw with Ulster last week.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland - who guided them to their Test series win over the Wallabies in 2013 - names his squad next week.

They will be bidding to become only the second Lions squad to record a Test series win over the All Blacks - the 1971 Lions having beaten them 2-1 with one Test drawn. 

Warburton, who skippered Wales a record 49 times under Gatland, became the youngest Lions skipper at 24 when he was named four years ago but was injured for the final and decisive Test - his compatriot Alun Wyn Jones deputised for him.    

Agence France-Presse

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